Yeah, that's the ticket.

Let's talk about parking tickets, shall we?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Glad Xmas is over

Hello everyone,

Officer X here. I work as a Parking Enforcement Officer for a relatively small town in Southern California. I've been at this job for almost seven years now and there's one thing I've discovered about this particular time of year - it stinks.

Now look, I know nobody wants to get a parking ticket, nobody. But what people don't realize is that when December 1st rolls around, it doesn't mean it's now Xmas and you can break the parking rules all you want. "But it's the holiday season!," people whine to me. "Can't you give me a break?" No. Would you walk into a bank, hold it up and when the cops catch you, use this same logic with them? No, you wouldn't (if you were sane). Why would you imagine that it would work with us? I realize that a parking infraction is vastly different from robbing a bank, but the prinicpal still applies. Hey, you break a rule, prepare to pay the fine. Don't boo hoo to us, we are only there to cite violations. If you want to protest a ticket, take it to the police station where they get paid to hear your protestations. Don't get snotty with us and wish us, in your most sarcastic voice, "Merry Christmas Officer _______!" That doesn't mean much to us.

But, we do know how you feel. When a typical person gets a ticket they feel angry, embarrassed, and frustrated. You think you have been treated unfairly. But after all, we didn't take that money out of your pocket, you did. I will now reveal to you all the one big secret to avoiding getting a parking ticket: READ THE SIGNS! "Can't you give me a warning?," you cry. No, because the sign IS the warning. Now, man up (or in some cases, behave like a lady) and take responsibility for your actions. People who do this are the happiest people. Why? Because they know that they have it within their power to change their circumstances. If you keep blaming us, you'll keep messing up and never solving that most fundamental of issues - personal responsibility.

So, I'm glad Xmas is over. The streets are very busy. The drivers are out in full force doing last minute shopping and other holiday-related errands. But we are out in full force too. Just looking for those for whom this season is just another excuse to break a simple rule then cry when they get caught.

Happy Holidays! (oh wait, there's still New Years Eve to contend with - sigh.)

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